By: Chloe Atkins
Even the most diligent skin-care devotees sometimes fall short when it comes to removing makeup before bed. Maybe the mascara proves stubborn, or the party runs impossibly long—and while the remnants of next-day eye makeup have a certain appeal, the sallowness of next-day skin does not. It’s tempting to simply clean the slate with a quick once-over of a makeup wipe, but maintaining healthy skin calls for a more fine-tuned approach. “You spend all day long with your skin,” says Dallas-based facialist Joanna Czech, who knows the rhythm of early call times and late-night wraps well (her clientele includes Charlize Theron and Christy Turlington). “Your pores are clogged by your skin’s own produced sebum, and by the dead skin cells and powders falling into [them].” That’s why some facialists might deem hitting the pillow without a thorough face wash to be an unforgivable act. But Czech reminds us that the overnight damage is reversible, whether you are trying to rehydrate parched skin or keep breakouts at bay. Here, a four-step guide to reviving the complexion after a too-long night.
Rethink the Way You Cleanse
When it comes to giving skin a fresh start, Czech counts on a two-step cleansing process. “I would start with an oil-based cleanser,” she says, suggesting Elemis’s ultra-hydrating version to help dissolve remaining makeup and buildup. Next, Czech recommends following up with a gentle face wash—but she warns against formulas that include grainy-textured exfoliants. “This is not the time to be very aggressive with the skin, because the skin is already irritated,” she says, noting that she’s not a fan of scrubs nor mechanical cleansing brushes.
Try a Balancing Mask
When faced with a stressed and dull complexion, Czech looks to hydrating masks packed with fatty acids and vitamin C. Her formula of choice? A “touch of Biologique Recherce Masque VIP 02,” which soothes and brightens skin (even after the after-party). Kiehl’s newest mask calls on a blend of turmeric and cranberry seeds, which help promote a healthy glow. Meanwhile, Tatcha’s Violet-C Radiance Mask uses green tea and algae, together with Japanese beautyberry, to soften fine lines. And for a quick fix, Clinique’s gel-to-foam mask eliminates excess oil and dirt, and evens out texture within two minutes.
Restore a Balanced pH
The pH level of the skin’s protective outer layer may go out of whack after a night slept in makeup, but rest assured: A crop of face mists can help bring it back into balance. Czech suggests spraying La Mer’s Rose Mist or Biologique Recherche’s L’eauxygenante to help “energize the epidermis and restore the skin’s natural acidity.” She then recommends adding a few drops of hyaluronic acid serum or her go-to Calming Serum by Dr. Barbara Sturm, which gives a “very calming effect.”
Final Step: Seal Everything In
“I don’t ever torture my clients with five billion masks,” Czech says, recalling the demands of their busy schedules. That said, she does believe in a second and final act of layering a freshly misted facade with Meder’s ultra-hydrating sheet mask. It encourages the sprays and serums to penetrate into the skin faster, she says. If you’re looking to supercharge your sheet mask, Czech recommends running ice cubes over the mask for about a minute. “It’s great for your headache post-drinking because you can place it on your forehead,” she says with a laugh. “Not only does it seal all of the products in, it’s also super anti-inflammatory.”